The Arrival by Shaun Tan
Book 60 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Awards: New South Wales Premier's Literary Award; 2006 Cybils Award; Bologna Ragazzi Award, Special Mention; Spectrum Award; Junior Library Guild Selection; World Fantasy Artist of the Year; A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2007; A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2007; Amazon.com's Best Teen Book of 2007; 2007 Parents' Choice Gold Award; A Book Sense Winter 2007-2008 Top Ten Children’s Pick; A New York Public Library Best Book for Reading and Sharing; A New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2007; Rocky Mountain News, A Top Ten Book of the Year; The Columbus Dispatch, A Best Book of 2007; Booklist; A School Library Journal Best Book of 2007; A Washington Post Best Book for Young People for 2007; Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon for Fiction; ALA Notable Children's Book, 2008; ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, 2008; ALA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens, 2008; Horn Book Fanfare Book 2007; Metropolitan Home Magazine's Design 100, 2008; An IRA Notable Book for a Global Society, 2008; 2008 Locus Award, Best Art Book; 2008 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, special citation for excellence in graphic storytelling; CCBC Choices 2008; Nominated for an International Horror Guild Award, Illustrated Narrative; Nominated for 2008 Hugo Award
rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Arrival is a wordless graphic novel that explores the trials and triumphs of the immigration experience. Set in a fantastical world that borrows from our own, readers will recognize images that Tan used to base the novel on, including Ellis Island and post-WWII Europe. However, there is a different alphabet, make-believe animals, and hot air balloons used for travel.
The book is entirely sepia-toned pencil drawings with gorgeous detail. Shaun Tan spent four years working on this book, and it shows. Although Tan is an illustrator first and foremost, I did miss his personal voice.
Since there are no words, I would say this book is experienced rather than read. It is a unique and thought-provoking book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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